A Police Officer’s Bullet Took The Life Of The Father She Never Knew

“I hope that other children can find comfort in seeing their parents in themselves the same way I do.”

By Joy Diaz & Shelly BrisbinSeptember 18, 2020 1:20 pm, , ,

Montinique Monroe is a 27-year-old freelance photojournalist based in Austin. On April 15, 1993, when she was just a few months old, her father, Paul Monroe, was killed by a police officer. She recently wrote for the news outlet Vox about the lasting impact of her father’s death on her own life.

“My father was allegedly involved in an armed robbery where police were called, and my father was given demands to drop a duffel bag he was holding,” Monroe said. “He dropped the bag. He was given demands to get on the ground, and before he could get on the ground, former police officer Steven Deaton shot him. In the more than 50-page police incident report, another officer who is at the scene said that she could hear my father saying, ‘I can’t see. I can’t feel my legs. I need water.’“

Paul Monroe was 23 when he was killed by APD officer Steve Deaton

“My grandmother, she often tells me a story about a little boy who, shortly after my father’s funeral, came to my grandmother’s house. And she said this boy was just crying and crying. The little boy’s mother was in jail. And my father had been going to his house and giving him and his siblings groceries every week. And so the little boy was concerned that he didn’t know how he and his siblings were going to eat now.”

Montinique Monroe Mel Chriistina / Photographer

“One year I was in Girl Scouts and we had a father-daughter dance. So both of my father’s brothers, my Uncle Patrick and my Uncle Kevin, went with me. As I get older, I’m hitting all of these major milestones in my life, my career. One day I’ll hopefully be married. And that’s a big moment. I would have loved to have the opportunity for my father to walk me down the aisle. And now, I’m either going to have to walk alone, or, once again, find someone to fill in like I did when I was a child.”

“I find comfort in looking in the mirror and seeing his face because I look just like him. And I hope that other children can find comfort in seeing their parents in themselves the same way I do.”

Steven Deaton, the former officer who killed Montinique Monroe’s father, rose to the rank of assistant chief of police in Austin. He then worked in Williamson County but left last year after posting racist remarks on social media.

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